Monthly Archives: September 2015

Eclipse

There was a total eclipse Sunday night.  And it started early enough that I could actually see it.  Because of the direction my apartment faces and the trees outside my balcony, I can’t see the moon once it passes my windows.  So even if I’m awake during an eclipse, I can’t always see it.

But Sunday’s eclipse started early enoug that I had a perfect view.  I tied back the curtains in my bedroom, curled up in my bed and looked up out the window. 

And saw clouds.

Occasionally, there was a break in the clouds, and I could see the shadow of the earth starting to pass over the moon.

And then, about an hour before the total eclipse was reached, as the moon was reaching the point at which it would be too high for me to see from my bedroom window, the clouds moved off, and the moon hung alone, half eclipsed by the earth’s shadow.

Once the moon was too high to see, I let the curtains fall back into place and curled up to go to sleep.  If I woke up, I’d see if I could still see the moon.  

And I had a dream that I did.  I pulled back the curtain and stood with my cheek pressed against the window.  And I saw the red of the Blood Moon.  And I took a picture with my phone.

There’s no picture.  That’s why I know it was a dream.  But I hadn’t expected to be able to see the total eclipse, so I’m content.  My experience is perfect as it was.

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Caunties and Cuncles

I’ve lost complete track of the days.  Apparently, Anna turned seven-months-old on Sunday.  I know, right?  

I really do know what happened.  Anna started day care.  (Or school, as we call it.)  The rhythm of our days has changed.  We leave a little bit later each morning, and we get home a little bit sooner.  We don’t see my parents every day.  It’s simultaneously quieter and busier.  The dichotomy that is life.

So, anyway, for the past two weeks, I’ve been meaning to write about this.  And I’ve either been too busy or too tired to do so.  Neither are particularly great excuses, but I think I’ll stick with them.

You will recall that two of my cousins were due around the same time as me, that our three babies were born within thirty days of each other.  Well, Geoff and Bethany were up from Texas (with the kids, of course).  And on September 11, the clan gathered for Family Dinner.  It was the first time we had all three of the new babies (who aren’t quite as new these days) together.  Anna was horrified when she saw me holding Peter.  Absolutely horrified.  As though she thought I was trading her in for a different model.  I’m not sure if she would have responded the same when I was holding Audrey; she wasn’t in the room at the time.

But one of the things that I really like that came out of this was our discussion of names.  Relationship names, that is.  I mean, we’re all cousins, right?  But we now have this generational difference.  And my cousins and I are all accustomed to this big family with aunts and uncles.  Not AN aunt and AN uncle.  Lots of them.  But the majority of us only have one sibling.  So my mom thought we should start calling my cousins “cousin aunty” and “cousin uncle”.  And then Bethany shared that her brother uses the terms “caunty” and “cuncle”.

I like it.  We’re cousins, but we’re more like aunts and uncles.  We’re caunts and cuncles with conieces and conephews.  It makes me smile.

Given the date that this happened, you can see why I didn’t get around to writing about it right away.  But it was a good dinner.  It was lovely to see everyone.  It was hard to leave.  Except for the simultaneous three-way melt-down.  That did help.  And now maybe I’ll get back into the swing of blogging again.

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Two Years

Sofia would have been two on Sunday.  Between work and Anna starting at day care, it was a busy week.  I didn’t have much time to stop and think, which is probably a good thing.

As I was heading to my parents’ house on Saturday to do laundry and go to the market, I realized that I’d taken the wrong route.  I only had about six dollars, so I meant to stop by an ATM on the way.  But I’d driven through town, which doesn’t take me past an ATM.  And then I remembered.  There’s a twenty in my purse.  An acquaintance gave it to me after Sofia died.  She told me to tuck it away in my purse for that day, which would surely come, when I needed cash to buy lunch or a cup of cofee.  And that’s when I started to cry.*

But that was really the worst of it.  Paula and I texted a bit in the evening.  She’s been busy, too, and agreed that this year has been eaiser than last year.

Sunday, itself, was a pretty good day.  I’d put out word that we’d be having breakfast at Sophia’s in commemoration of Sofia’s anniversary.  Several of my parents’ friends were there.  (Don’t get me wrong; they’re all lovely people, but they’re also all, you know, my parents’ age.)  And some of my friends were there, too.  Jess drove across state to join us.  (Her daughter got up at one to ask if it was time to leave yet.)  Issa and her family came, too, as did Amber.  And I know other people (especially Nicki) would have been there if they didn’t already have plans for that day or if they didn’t live too far away.

Anna has a cold (damn day care), and I was exhausted from being up every two hours overnight.  My mom stayed the afternoon so that I could have some company.  And take a nap.  It was really nice to take a nap.

Sunday night was a bit better.  Anna slept more than I did.  So it was at about 2am that I saw a message from a friend on the West Coast, checking in, saying she was thinking of me.  And it was just right.  Just what I needed at that moment.  Thank you to everyone who messaged me over the weekend.  Thank you to Molly for the latest granola iteration (OMG is it good!).  For what it was, it was a good day.

I’ll be at Sophia’s on Stadium at around 8:30 on 9/13/16.  Maybe I’ll see you there.

*I did not, in fact, need to use this emergency twenty.  My mom gave me a loan until I can get to an ATM.

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Addenda

Addendum #1:  I was talking to my mom after I wrote yesterday’s post.  Not only did E not know who my parents were, my parents didn’t know who E was until she introduced herself.  (I’ve been seeing pictures of her since she was born, so I knew immediately.)

Addendum #2:  Of course there are pictures!  I sent them to Joanna as we were driving home, but I forgot to ask if she minded me sharing one.  I’ve since heard from Joanna that she doesn’t mind at all.  (Yes, that’s my dad’s thumb in the lower left corner.)

  

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Akin to Anna

Gabriel was memorialized today.  My parents went along.  That way I didn’t have to drive.  And it also meant Anna could come along but not have to sit through the service after the long drive up north.

The service was nice.  It was good to see Joanna.  She was wearing the shawl my mom and I had knit for her.  I told her that she was welcome to join Paula and me when we get together over Thanksgiving, assuming the schedules work that way.

It was crowded, and we didn’t know anyone else in attendance.  Since we had an equally long drive back home, we left shortly before they finished setting up for the luncheon.  I went to the bathroom while my parents headed to the car with Anna.

They had barely made it outside when they were approached by a little girl with fly-away curls.  It was Joanna’s daughter.  She told my mom that the baby wanted to hold her hand.  My mom crouched down so that Anna could sit on the pavement under the awning.

Actually, E went on, the baby really wanted to hold both hands.  And she took both of her hands.  And they held hands and smiled at each other.  And E gave Anna a kiss.

She didn’t know who my parents were.  She didn’t know who I was.  She didn’t know who Anna was.  But E sensed the connection.  

A big sister who no longer has a little brother.  A little sister who no longer has a big sister.  Holding hands as though they’ve always known each other.

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